This review is for the Nintendo DS game, Monster House, developed by A2M and published by THQ. The game is based on the film of the same name and is an adventure game.
The aim of the game is to work through the 54 levels, defeating enemies in every room, with you in control of a choice of three different characters. The game is displayed in a overhead view, quite rare for games nowadays, and every few levels, there is a larger enemy to defeat, a sort of end of level guardian.
The three different characters that you control are the friends from the film, Jenny, Chowder and DJ. Each of these has a water pistol, which is the weapon that you have to defeat the enemies, but how they fire depends on the character which you are playing with in the game.
The game controls work reasonably well, you need to use the stylus and the touch screen to be able to direct your fire. The d-pad controls your direction when you explore, and overall, this does all work quite well, despite the slightly strange top-down display, which does feel quite old fashioned.
In terms of gameplay, this is a fast and action packed game, and there's always lots to see. However, the game can be quite repetitive, as with 54 rooms to work through, everything is really much the same. As you work through the game, things do of course get harder, and the difficulty level is set at a sensible rate, but it becomes less fun and innovative as you progress.
Monster House is though rather too easy to complete, and you are likely to be able to finish it in just a few hours of gameplay. You can choose the difficulty level in the game, but this doesn't make a huge amount of different. You do also have the option of going through the game again picking up every hidden object, but this is rather pointless unless you really like completing every game in full, as there is no unlockable content which you can obtain through your hard work.
The graphics in the game are bright and clear enough, nothing state of the art, but enough to add to the atmosphere. The sound is less impressive, with repetitive background music, and limited and quite irritating sound effects. The lack of effort put into the sound does rather detract from the atmosphere.
There is unfortunately no multi player function on this game, which isn't very impressive given how many other games manage to add this facility. This is a game where this would have been a useful addition, and its omission does detract quite a lot from the game.
The game retails for 19.99 pounds, but is currently available on Amazon for 5.95 pounds. If you are happy with a second hand copy, then at the time of writing, these are available on sites such as eBay for Amazon for around three to four pounds. The game is rated 7+, so is suitable for children of most ages.
In summary, this isn't a bad game, and as it's available for just a few pounds at the moment, it's definitely worth considering. The game is a bit repetitive, but also quite short, so although your interest might be decreasing as you get near the end of the game, you're quite likely to finish. The lack of a multi-player option or any unlockable content does however rather restrict the long-term interest in this game, so it's good, but it's not great by any means.
The Monster House videogames will allow players to experience key moments of the movie as they uncover the mysteries of the house in order to save their neighbourhood. Players will also take on unique adventures that were inspired by the film. With three playable characters, fans of the film will enjoy seeing the movie come to life in their living rooms.